Today, PepsiCo has unveiled its most sustainable factory in Europe as the industry increasingly recognises the circular economy as a framework to help address global food system challenges.
The plant in Poland will use new sustainability solutions that demonstrate aspects of a circular economy in action, such as collecting rainwater for reuse and generating its own energy via rooftop solar panels, with the plant set to be climate neutral by 2035.
The EUR 300 million project, the company’s fifth plant in the country, will produce for the domestic market and export to over 20 countries, including Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.
A future of circularity
The new plant – the company’s greenest in Europe – is built with sustainability at its core and shows how circular economy principles can be used throughout the entire life cycle of a snack.
Alongside low utility consumption, the facility generates its own energy via solar panels, with plans to introduce an onsite solar farm in the future. Heat process water and rainwater will also be recovered for use in building utilities.
Even the potatoes from the manufacturing process play a key role. The leftover peelings will be used to help power the plant using anaerobic digestor technology, then converted into a low carbon fertiliser which is given back to the farmers to help them grow their next crop.
The plant also brings to light new sustainable solutions such as electrification of steam generation and an electric fleet of company cars with dedicated charging stations.
Waste reduction, in all its forms and across the value chain, is a strategic imperative for PepsiCo and a key tenet of its pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) ambition.
Silviu Popovici, CEO, PepsiCo Europe: “Poland is a strategic market with a significant development potential, where we have been investing for over 30 years. The opening of this new, environmentally sustainable snack facility is a major milestone for PepsiCo in Europe. We would like to thank our associates and our partners for helping us reimagine the future of food and bringing this facility to life.”
Growing in a key market
PepsiCo has had a major presence in Poland for over thirty years, with this plant marking the company’s fifth plant in the region. Today PepsiCo contributes to approximately 32,000 jobs across the value chain. The new plant will create 450 jobs, helping to boost Poland’s economy.
PepsiCo has been working with local communities since the beginning of its operations in Poland. Today, crops are sourced under the global PepsiCo Sustainable Farming Programme and PepsiCo in Poland sources over 200,000 tonnes of sustainably grown potatoes each year.
This volume is expected to grow by 60,000 tonnes per year by 2025. With the new facility now up and running, PepsiCo will significantly expand the Polish farming programme to cover 19,000 acres (7,700 hectares) and over 80 farms in the coming years.
By investing in the region and contributing to the well-being of local communities, PepsiCo is further demonstrating its strategic commitment to Poland.
“There couldn’t be a better example of our shared success in economic growth than PepsiCo Poland! The iconic American brand first arrived in Poland in 1991, when it opened its first factory near Warsaw. All these years later PepsiCo is continuing to invest in Poland and its people by expanding its footprint in a substantial way. This new manufacturing plant is PepsiCo’s fifth and largest investment in Poland so far,” said Mark F. Brzezinski, US Ambassador to Poland.
The opening ceremony of the plant took place on 31 May, inaugurated by the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and US Ambassador Mark Brzezinski. The event was attended by over 150 government officials, local authorities, project partners and PepsiCo employees.
Take a virtual tour of the new plant here.
Cover photo: Credit PepsiCo